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Bureau of International Organization Affairs
U.S. National Commission for UNESCO



The purpose of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO (the Commission) shall be to serve the Department of State in an advisory capacity with respect to the consideration of issues related to education, science, communications culture, and the formulation and implementation of U.S. policy towards UNESCO.


The Commission is established in accordance with 22 U.S.C. § 287o et seq. and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (“FACA”).


In accordance with 22 U.S.C. §287o, the Commission is established to implement Article VII of the UNESCO Constitution, fulfilling its mandate that each Member State shall make such arrangements as suit its particular conditions for the purpose of associating its principal bodies interested in educational, scientific and cultural matters with the work of the Organization, preferably by the formation of a National Commission broadly representative of the Government and such bodies. The functions of the Commission shall be advisory, and any determination to be made or action to be taken on the basis of Commission recommendations shall be made or taken by appropriate officers of the Untied States Government. The Commission shall offer recommendations with respect to the consideration of issues related to education, the sciences, communications and culture, and the formulation and implementation of U.S. policy towards UNESCO.



The National Commission will comprise no more than 100 members. The commissioners shall consist of not more than 60 representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and not more than 40 “outstanding persons” including not more than 10 officials or employees of the United States Government, not more than 15 representatives of the interests of state and local governments, and not more than 15 individuals at large. According to the statute, the Secretary of State is authorized to name in the first instance 50 of the principal NGOs who will be invited to designate a representative for appointment. Thereafter, the National Commission shall periodically review, and if deemed advisable, revise the list of such organizations.

In accordance with the statute, to constitute the initial Commission, one-third of the members shall be appointed to serve for a term of one year, one-third for a term of two years, and one-third or the remainder thereof for a term of three years. Subsequently, all members shall be appointed for a term of three years each, but no member shall serve more than two consecutive terms.

The composition of the Commission shall be balanced in terms of the points of view represented.


There shall be an Executive Director of the Commission, who shall serve as the Designated Federal Official (“DFO”) of the commission in accordance with Sections 10(e) and (f) of the FACA, 5 U.S.C. The DFO shall be an employee of the Department of State in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs.



The Executive Director shall approve or call the meetings of the Commission, shall publish notice of meetings in the Federal Register, shall prepare and approve the agenda, shall attend the meetings, and shall adjourn the meetings when such adjournment is in the public interest.

The DFO shall also arrange for the keeping of minutes of each meeting of the Commission and shall certify the accuracy of the minutes and provide a copy to the Department of State’s Committee Management Officer (“CMO”). The minutes shall include the following items: the time, date, and place of the meeting; a listing of Commission members and agency employees present at the meeting; a description of matters discussed and conclusions reached by the Commission; copies of all reports received, issued, or approved by the Commission; a description of the extent to which the meeting was open to the public; and explanation of the extent of public participation, including a list of members of the public who presented oral or written statements and an estimate of the number of the public who attended the meetings. The last three items shall not be included when the determination to close or partially close the meeting has been made.


It is anticipated that the Commission shall meet as necessary, but not less frequently than once per year. No quorum is required.

All Commission meetings shall be open to the public up to the capacity of the meeting room, unless a determination has been made in accordance with Section 10(d) of the FACA that a meeting or portion of a meeting should be closed to the public.

Timely notice of each Commission meeting, stating the name of the Commission, the time, place, and purpose of the meeting, a summary of the agenda and whether the meeting is open to the public, shall be published in the Federal Register. Such notice shall be given at least 15 days in advance of the meeting date except when shorter notice is authorized in exceptional circumstances.


The Commission shall report to the Secretary of State. The DFO, in coordination with the Department of State’s Committee Management Officer shall comply with all reporting requirements as mandated by FACA.


The records of the Commission shall be handled in accordance with General Records Schedule 26, Item 2, and shall be available for public inspection and copying to the extent required by the Freedom of Inforation Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552.


A. All funding and support necessary for the organization and operation of the Commission shall be provided by the Department of State.

B. The members of the Commission shall serve without compensation, but may be allowed travel expenses to the extent authorized by 5 U.S.C. § 5703.

C. The estimated annual operating costs of the Commission, including the Annual Meeting and 6 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs), is $590,000.


This Charter shall terminate two years from the date it is filed, unless it is renewed or extended by appropriate action prior to that date.


NOW, THEREBY, this Charter shall be considered approved by the Department of State as of this date and shall be provided to the appropriate standing committees of the Senate and House of Representatives having legislative jurisdiction for the Department of State and to the Library of Congress pursuant to the provisions of the FACA.

Patrick Kennedy
Under Secretary of State for Management

Signed: ____________________________________

Date: _________________


VIII. DATE FILED: [to be filled in when mailed]

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